Sea-Run Cutthroat (Bluebacks) are In!

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

It’s almost September and that means Fall fisheries are beginning to heat-up. The cooler coastal waters get going first with Sea-Run Cutthroat Trout (Blueback) arriving in Mid August and early Fall Chinook showing up slightly later. We spent the last few days poking around Oregon Coast tidewater areas chasing Sea-Run Cutthroats and keeping our eye open for Chinook. We found great numbers of Cutthroat and especially encouraging was their average size. Last year, a majority of the fish we caught were under 12″ and we believed that this year those fish would be return this year in the 12″-16″ range. That appears to the case so far as we are catching more fish over 13″ than under. Encouraging results for early season!

Also encouraging are a few early Fall Chinook present as high as upper tidewater. More fish are showing near the mouths each day and we expect the best Salmon season we’ve had in years. We have just a few openings left in the Fall Season. Now is the time to book a trip if you’re thinking of chasing Sea-Run Cutthroat, Coho or Chinook in September, October or November. Give us a call at 503-515-3533 or email us

Oregon Tidewater Sea-Run Cutthroat Trout. Caught August 23, 2011
Sandy with a nice Oregon Tidewater Sea-Run Cutthroat Trout. Caught August 23, 2011

Oregon Fall Salmon and Trout Fishing Photo Gallery

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

Check out our new fall chinook salmon, coho salmon and sea-run cutthroat photo gallery. View great catches from our guests throughout the Fall of 2010.

Big buck chinook salmon

To arrange a guide trip for Winter 2010-2011 steelhead action, give us a call at 503-515-3533 or email us!

Fall Chinook Salmon and Sea-Run Cutthroat Trout Report

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

Each Fall day as we dump the boat in the water, just before first light, a day of promise, opportunity and surprise awaits us. Armed with light fly rods for sea-run cutthroat, six and seven weight rods for coho and steelhead and big sticks for the mighty king salmon we set off to see what the day may bring. Each fishing day brings with it a unique fishing experience that varies greatly from day to day, even in the same section of river. The diversity of the Oregon Coastal fishery is what makes it so fun, challenging and rewarding at the same time.

So far the Coast has had two significant periods of rain, one in September and one in mid-October, each of which has been followed by long periods of high pressure and sunny skies. The first rain in September flushed a lot of the sea-run trout from tidewater into the river while the second rain brought with it an excellent push of salmon into the lower and middle reaches of most systems. As we write this post we’re staring at enormous weather system that looks like it will dump rain for the next few days and push the rivers to their highest points to date this Fall. We expect that this rain will essentially end the lower tidewater fishery and push most anglers into the main rivers for the balance of the season.

Fishing has been generally good. We’ve had a couple slow days, lots of decent days and a few exceptional days. Highlights include a day of upriver sea-run cutthroat fishing where it seemed every fish in the river wanted to eat our dries flies. Giddy anglers landed scores and scores of beautiful trout. Overall sea-run cutthroat numbers have been good, but we haven’t seen as many really large fish as last year. Perhaps they are still to come, but with just over a week left in the season, we’re running out of time.

The coho salmon run is good this year, but appears to be a fraction of the epic returns we had last year. There are still plenty of fish to target but the native coho quota on the Siletz did not fill as quickly as biologists thought.

The biggest surprise of the year has been a better than expected Fall chinook return. After several years of poor runs it’s really nice to see these fish coming back. Chinook fishing was fair during September and early October but since the last rain it’s been red hot both in tidewater and the lower river. Fly anglers have been doing really well fishing Comets and Clouser Minnows in orange/black and white/chartreuse combinations.

We’re excited for the last week of “Come prepared to catch whatever swims” before the sea-run cutthroat season closes Oct 31. We’ll continue to fish salmon through mid-November before switching over to hatchery Winter Steelhead. We still have a couple days available for November salmon and plenty of days for winter steelhead.

To book a late Fall or Winter trip, please call 503.515.3533 or email us.

Hooked up to a 40lb Chinook on a 4wt fly rod
Justin hooked up to a 40 lb. Chrome Chinook on a 4wt and 3x. We didn’t really stand a chance with this fish, but he fought it bravely for 20 minutes and survived 3 jumps. We won’t forget the one that got away.

large sea-run cutthroat trout One of the nicer sea-run Cutthroat landed this Fall, a beautiful Fall specimen.

Fall is Sea-Run Cutthroat Time!

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

As the days get noticeably shorter, mornings get a little crisper and a few raindrops begin to fall from the sky, it can only mean one thing… Fall… and the arrival of our finned friends, the sea-run cutthroat trout. We guided our first sea run cutt trip at the end of last week and found numbers of fish similar to this time last year. Lots of fish around a foot in length with a few big ones sprinkled in. Typically, the smaller schooling fish enter the rivers first and the bigger ones will enter in a couple weeks as the water cools and a bit of rain raises the river. Still action was steady most of the day and we had some incredibly explosive top water streamer takes. We live for those short seconds as a sea-run cutthroat rockets off the bottom of a deep pool and recklessly smashes a stripped hair wing streamer. It doesn’t get much better than that.

It looks to be another good season and we’re excited to be back chasing these fish. We still have a few open dates towards the end of September and throughout the month of October for those anglers looking for a unique trout experience. For booking information call 503.515.3533 or Email Us

North Oregon Coast Salmon and Trout Report

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

We were on the water a lot last week and what a week it was! The last two weeks of October are usually grand slam time on the Oregon Coast and this year hasn’t been any different. We caught the coastal grand slam landing and releasing Chinook, Coho, Sea-run Cutthroats and Summer Steelhead in the span of two days with a single angler. Other highlights from last week included  a 40lb chinook, a chrome coho taken on a swung fly, a 21″ Sea-run Cutthroat (our biggest of the year to date) and an 18″ Cutthroat on an October Caddis dry.

Last week had it all; rainy, windy, sunny all in the same day. The rivers levels pushed up almost a foot in some locations and just few inches in others, then it dropped back down and rose again. That unstable weather put the best push of fish this year on the move. We found our first chrome fish in the upper river sections, but the majority of up river fish are pretty dark. We made good use of our raft this week, taking advantage of some higher flows to access great water that hadn’t seen an angler since last spring. While it was hard work at times, dragging the raft across shallow tailouts and boulder fields, the results were well worth it! Happy fish, undisturbed by anglers and readily taking our presentations.

Stay tuned for great pictures from last week and earlier this Fall. Soon to be available in our photo galleries.

Tight lines,

Oregon River Guides

Oregon Coast Fall Fishing Report

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

It’s impossible to script great days, but if you spend enough time on the water, you’re bound to come across them on with fair regularity, and that is what keeps us all fishing.

Yesterday’s weather was cool and blustery with a late day shower here and there. Not enough to get soaked, but enough to let you know Fall is here. Angling pressure was non-existent and the fish could feel the approaching unsettled weather. A recipe for success in any guides book.

We started out the morning fishing sea-run cutthroat and by the time it was light enough to see the opposite bank we were into fish. Lots of fish… and big ones. A couple doubles and lots of fish to the boat in the 15-18″ class by 10:00 and everyone was a happy camper. We could go home now and call it good… but no. It’s a fishing day, let’s catch fish.

Throughout the rest of the day we landed a couple chinook, a chrome bright native coho and many more fat blueback trout. Officially the first coastal triple of the year! A chinook, coho and sea-run cutthroat landed by the same angler, in the same day. Last year we had a couple triples and one grand slam (add in steelhead for 4 species). We can’t wait for anglers to have more of those this season.

The fall fishery is officially here and it’s time to go fishing. Give us a call at 503.515.3533 to book a trip or Email Us.

16 inch sea-run cutthroat trout
Typical Oregon Coast sea-run cutthroat trout.

Oregon Coast Sea Cutthroat Report

Friday, September 11th, 2009

It’s been another great week on the coast! We’ve had some incredible weather this past week that was extremely pleasant for anglers, but makes guides wish there were a few more clouds around. Still, the early morning bite was great and there were some fantastic fish taken in shady spots throughout the warm, sunny afternoons. This is typical Indian Summer weather on the Oregon Coast and we’ll take advantage of the few remaining opportunities to guide in shorts and tee shirts.

The Chinook bite slowed this week and emergency ODFW sportfish regulations on the South Coast make us worry the Chinook run will be another bust this year. However, there are still fish to be caught and the patient, dedicated anglers will get their fish. The one bonus to the buzz of less Chinook this Fall has driven other anglers away and we’ve had the river mostly to ourselves. It’s a great feeling to have a day’s float to yourself, quiet and peaceful, casting flies to eager cutthroat.

The sea-run fishing continues to be great and there are more fish in the river everyday. The average size of the fish is also increasing as it usually does this time of year. We’ve seen some huge fish in tidewater of 3+ pounds, but thus far the monsters on fly have eluded us. Anglers this week saw consistent 20 fish days and fish ranging from 9-17 inches. We can’t wait to get back on the water and continue to enjoy the great action. To book a guided fishing trip give us a call at 503.515.3533 or Email Us. We are currently fishing the Siletz, Nestucca and Sandy. Below are just a few snapshots from trips this week.

siletz river sea run cutthroat
A beautiful cutthroat from the Siletz, colored up from hanging out in tidewater

One of alan's sea-run cutts
Alan took this and many other great sea-run cutts on a crystal blue sky day

Siletz tidewater sunrise
Sunrise over tidewater, it never ceases to amaze us.

Fall Fishing for Salmon and Cutthroats heats up as rain cools the water down

Tuesday, September 8th, 2009

The recent labor day storm system was a bummer to many campers and recreation enthusiasts, looking to get in one last outing before the school year started. For Small Stream Outfitters and many other fishermen it was a blessing. We had great fishing over the weekend for Chinook, Coho and Sea-run Cutthroat both on the coast and in the Willamette Valley. The early trickle of fish has now turned into solid numbers and it’s time to get in on the action. Give us a call at 503.515.3533 or Email Us to book a fishing trip for Coho, Chinook, and/or Sea-run Cutthroats (blueback). Many of these species are available in the same section of river. We are currently fishing the Siletz, Nestucca and Sandy. Below is just a small selection of the finned creatures we’ve run into in the last week.
Sandy River Fall Chinook
A nice Fall Chinook from the Sandy, we’ve run into a lot of these fishing for Coho. We don’t mind a bit.

Rich Youngers with a nice cutthroat
Rich Youngers of Creekside Fly Shop in Salem took this beautiful little cutt on Monday

Harbor seal in Siletz tidewater
When you see a harbor seal in upper tidewater, you know there are more than a few salmon around.

Oregon Coast Fishing Report

Tuesday, September 1st, 2009

August is now officially behind us and September is here. We welcome the cool nights, warm days and splish splash of the anadromous fish entering the coastal rivers. We spent the weekend on the coast fishing for sea-run cutthroats (blueback trout), while keeping our eyes open for the first chinook and coho of the year. Sea-run trout fishing was good as always. We hooked a few really big fish (up to 18″) and landed lots of smaller ones. It seems the bulk of the early fish are smaller on average than those that show up in the coming weeks, but still there’s nothing better than the vicious topwater strike of a hungry sea-run cutthroat. Successful patterns included, the ‘ol black and orange, reverse spiders, coachmen bucktails and black-nosed dace.

We also ran into a few bigger fish that made our day including the lovely little super jack chinook below. The Fall run has officially started and we’re excited to be on the water a bunch in the coming weeks. To get in on the Sea-run Cutthroat, Coastal Fall Chinook and Coho Salmon action call us at 503.515.3533 or email Email Us

sea-lice bright jack chinook

oregon coast fall chinook

Fall Fishing Season Preview, 2009

Sunday, August 9th, 2009

Hi Anglers,

The Fall fishing season is nearly upon us. It’s that time of year when fishing opportunities abound around the state. As the days get shorter, the leaves begin to change color and the first rains arrive, rivers and streams in the area cool off and the fishing gets red hot!

We’ll begin targeting the first to arrive of the Fall fish, the Sea-run cutthroat (Blueback Trout) on the coast next week and then progress into Coastal Fall Chinook, Coastal Coho and Willamette Valley Coho in the coming weeks. We generally begin having good salmon fishing by September 15 that will often last until the 1st or 2nd week of December on various streams and rivers.

The buzz among anglers this year is of a record coho run. Based on the number of coho jacks present last year as well as adults that prediction may very well come true. Even if the run is half of what scientists are predicting we’re going to have a great run of coho on rivers like the N. Fork Nehalem, Nestucca, Siletz, some coastal creeks and especially the Sandy! Last year the Sandy fished the best of all Coho fisheries and we look forward to many more days of bent rods this fall.

We expect sea-run cutthroat fishing this year to remain consistently good as it has for the past several years. 20 fish days are very common for trout ranging from 10-18 inches. They readily take swung and skated flies and are spectacular sport on 4wt fly rods.

The Coastal Chinook run will probably be the weakest of the three fisheries as it has been for the last 2 seasons. However, we expect a slightly better run than last year, but still not up to historical averages. We keep a close eye on the strength of the run and keep our anglers posted on chances to land one of these massive fish.

It looks to be another great Fall and we’re all set for the action to come. To inquire about a Guided Salmon or Cutthroat Trout trip with Small Stream Outfitters please call us at 503.515.3533 or Email Us!

Tight lines,
The Small Stream Outfitters Guide Staff